How to Meal Prep Like a Boss – The Rungry Health Coach

Today, Beth Roessner, aka The Rungry Health Coach, is sharing great tips on how to meal prep like a boss! If eating healthy is a goal of yours, then meal prepping can make it SO much easier. While it does take a bit of a mindset shift to pre-plan meals for the week and set aside a chunk of time to prep for them, you will thank yourself profusely all week long as you just throw together whatever you need for your meal from your pre-prepped, healthy ingredients in your fridge.

I am not a super organized meal-prepper, but I do take the time to prepare a few key ingredients I know I’ll use all week. I hard-boil eggs for snacks, make a big batch of brown rice or quinoa for the week, and cut up veggies I know I’m going to be using in recipes. I also try to make one big slow-cooker meal on the weekend and then freeze about half of it in portions, so my freezer is also stocked with ready to go meals.

Beth’s meal prep tips are below, but first, check out the past articles from The Rungry Health Coach for more great nutrition tips:

Eat Your Veggies!

The Surprising Reason You May Have Trouble Losing Weight

Breaking Out of the Should Trap

The Smoothie Makeover

InDefense of Grains

Pre- and Post-Run Nutrition Tips 

What Are Probiotics? And Why Do You Need Them?

5 Best Foods for Runners


How to Meal Prep Like a Boss - The Rungry Health Coach has great tips and advice on how you can make meal prep as simple and easy as possible!

Learn How to Meal Prep Like a Boss!

Meal prep is a polarizing topic. Some people live by it and for it. Others tend to shy away from it.

For anyone striving toward a healthier lifestyle, meal prep can go a long way to helping people reach their goals and retain sanity on busy week nights. Meal prep is the action of setting aside time (typically on a weekend) to plan and prepare meals and snacks for the week ahead. This saves time in the long run, and makes life easier when juggling work responsibilities, family duties, workouts, and other stressors. Plus, it stops us from grabbing take-out menus from the kitchen drawer.

Some people live for meal prep. These are the people who probably make all of their week’s meals ahead of time and portion them out into bento containers. They may spend hours in the kitchen on a Saturday or Sunday prepping their meals and snacks to ensure they have a successful and stress-free week ahead. There’s probably some array of hard-boiled eggs, chicken, broccoli and pesto in their fridge at any given time. As great as this plan sounds, it’s easy to get sick of eating the same thing week after week, and it’s even easier to get burnt out.

Then there’s the camp of people who are stressed out just by the idea of food prep. While they understand that meal prep is an important part of the healthy lifestyle equation, they just don’t know where to even begin.

Meal prep doesn’t have to cause anxiety and it doesn’t need to take upwards of four hours. With just a little bit of time and a plan of action, meal prep can be easy.

What’s the secret? Batch cooking!

Batch cooking is simple in principle: By preparing some staple ingredients – proteins, vegetables, grains/starches, snacks – come busy evenings all you need to do is reach into the fridges to prepare a meal. This also enables a bit of creativity so not all meals in a week are the same.

Your meal prep session can happen on any day, during any time. It doesn’t always have to happen on a Sunday! DO what works best for you and your family. Before cooking, take stock of what’s in your pantry and refrigerator. Think about what’s in season, what your week looks like, and start formulating an idea of what the week’s meals may look like. (There are hundreds of great food blogs and cookbooks out there to give you inspiration!)

You may need to run to the grocery store, so build this into the time you set aside.

Now, the trick to a successful meal prep session is to work efficiently. Go into it with a plan of attack and only spend time on what needs to get done.

For efficient batch cooking, start with these considerations:

  • Prep  a protein or two. Whether it be cooking chicken breasts in the slow cooker or oven, simmering beans, marinating steak, or hard-boiling eggs, create at least two proteins.
  • Remember, you don’t need to prep for ALL meals. Consider what time you have throughout the week. If you know your mornings are very busy, it may be a good idea to prep your breakfasts ahead of time. (have you tried overnight oats, or baking egg cups?) If you make extra dinner servings, these can also be translated into packed lunches for the next day.
  • Turn on really good tunes. This step may seem silly, but mood music can go a long way to making this batch cooking session as stress-free as possible. Don’t be afraid to sing.
  • When in doubt, roast. Roasting gives you the gift of time. You can easily stick a few things in the oven, set it, and move on with the next part of your plan. It’s easy to prick a few sweet potatoes and push them into a hot oven to roast. Or you can prepare a whole sheet pan of roasted veggies that can be reheated later in the week. Plus, who doesn’t love roasted veggies?
  • Prepare some vegetable options. Veggie prep doesn’t need to be fancy. Simple washing and chopping lettuce for salads, cutting carrots into snack size sticks, cutting broccoli florets ready for steaming, or roasting a pan of veggies will save you lots of time when you’re getting dinner ready.
  • Simmer or prepare a grain or some other starch. Quinoa, rice, sweet potatoes are all great examples of complex carbohydrates, but they do take time to prepare. By making them ahead of time, you can easily cut back on cooking time during the week. They last a few days in the fridge, so they’re ready to eat. (Cutting back on carbs? Cauliflower ‘rice’ can be prepped ahead of time, too!)
  • Read recipes and prepare anything time-consuming in advance. If there’s a recipe you plan on eating during the week, prepare some of its components ahead of time, especially those that take a lot of time. This could mean blending the sauce, simmering the grain, or cooking meat ahead of time. These small steps will make tackling a recipe that much easier.
  • Don’t forget your snacks. Everyone needs a snack or two. Homemade energy bars or balls are easily customizable and can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes. They combine pantry staples like oats, nuts, dried fruits. (Need some inspiration? Check out these chocolate hippie cookies, banana protein balls, or red velvet cake balls!)
  • It doesn’t need to be perfect. Your meal prep session doesn’t need to take a whole day, or be perfectly executed. Give yourself some grace. If you only have time to shred lettuce, that’s fine! If you just want to prep a batch of quinoa, carrot sticks and make a salad dressing, then do that. Do whatever you can and whatever you have time for. And as you continue meal prep each week, you’ll learn short cuts for yourself and it will get easier and quicker!

Need some more recipe inspiration? Check out these four recipes made with an athlete’s nutrition needs in mind. They’re plant-based and loaded with ingredients to sustain your busy lifestyle. (Plus, there’s a recipe for healthy cookie dough…yum!).


The Rungry Health Coach - contributing writer for Fine Fit DayBeth Roessner is a one-time couch potato turned avid runner, triathlete and wellness warrior. Through her business, The Rungry Health Coach, she works with adults around the country to help them reach all of their wellness and running goals–from weight loss to boosting a runner’s mental game. She firmly believes that overall wellness is about small changes that help create sustainable habits. Beth lives in Washington DC, where she enjoys morning runs around the monuments, and eating a lot of vegetables.

If you’d like to connect with Beth, you can find her on The Rungry Health Coach, on Facebook and on Instagram.


Do you meal prep already? Share your tips in the comments!

Comments

  1. I like this way of meal prep! I usually prep all my lunches for the week on Sunday’s but I’m one of those people who don’t mind eating the same thing every day. Dinner though is a different story. Batch prepping might really help us for dinner!

  2. I have a personal trainer that helps me prepare my meal plan, she gave me more helpful tips, just like this article tips it is great!
    Thanks for keeping this posted! looking forward to read more of your tips!